I have not been a role model to small children in the last hours, imbibing copious amounts of sangria and singing snatches of dirty Spanish songs. Now I am left with a empty ache and a hangover. Its all over. Thank you South Africa, and bollocks Des Kelly, this was one of the most absorbing World Cups.
What a game! A final between two heavyweights with Nigel De Jong providing a MMA moment. He should have been thrown out on his ear. Howard Webb did a fine job officiating except for that terrible moment. And the yellow cards- lets put it down to Mark Van Bommel’s reputation preceding him.
Andres Iniesta was slippery and hard to bring down as the Dutch focused on Xavi. What a mistake, as he resurrected his role of the baby faced killer from that Chelsea match a year ago. St Iker- what can one say of the man. Absolutely brilliant in goal denying Arjen Robben when Spanish hearts stopped sickeningly. He kept them in the match for Iniesta to stick his knife in the 116th minute. In the end, the better team won deservedly. Spain, you play beautiful.
What has happened to Dutch football? Should David Winner write a sequel to his book – Brazen Orange: The Unrelenting Idiocy of Dutch Soccer. What I saw were eleven thugs on the field, some more than others.
Many have said this is the way the Dutch need to play to break that hex. Well, they didn’t and they have left many including I, traditional supporters of Dutch football, shaking our heads. Wesley Sneijder had a great World Cup but his talents as a creative playmaker always a bit sketchy were exposed today. You saw Xavi resetting the attack – and you saw the heart and soul of this Spanish team.
Was it inspired or a touch of madness? Vicente Del Bosque took off Villa and introduced Fernando Torres. It provided the pivotal moment of the match as Torres perhaps realizing his shooting skills were a bit awry deferentially passed to Iniesta in a much better position to score. Possibly Villa would have tried taking on the defense and ended up with another scoring chance gone begging.
In another great substitution, Del Bosque took off Pedro for Cesc Fabregas. The lateral minded Spanish attack became more direct. As an Arsenal fan, I have seen Cesc provide moment after moment of brilliance. Having Xavi, Iniesta AND the Arsenal captain was a bit much for the Dutch. The last 15 minutes of the second half and extra time were all Spain with only Johnny Heitinga coming close for the Dutch.
Iniesta’s goal honoured Espanyol captain Dani Jarque, tragically falling to a heart condition. I can think of no better tribute. The Dutch, sadly for them, came up empty handed a third time. Totaalvoetball to totaalnothingness. What must they do now?